Mata-hari definition

mätə härē, mătə hărē
Dutch spy. A professional dancer in Paris after 1905, she apparently spied for Germany during World War I and was arrested and executed by the French.
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(person) (name for Margaretha Geertruida Zelle) 1876-1917; Du. dancer: executed by the French as a German spy during WWI.
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Any exotic, female spy.
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Origin of mata-hari

  • From Dutch (stage name of Margaretha Geertruida (Grietje) Zelle, a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was executed by firing squad for alleged espionage during World War I), from Indonesian matahari (“sun"), from Malay matahari (“sun").

    From Wiktionary